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Versions: 00 01 02 rfc5704                                 Informational
Network Working Group                                     S. Bryant, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                            M. Morrow, Ed.
Intended status: Informational                      On behalf of the IAB
Expires: March 28, 2010                               September 24, 2009


        "Uncoordinated Protocol Development Considered Harmful"
                draft-iab-mpls-tp-uncoord-harmful-02.txt

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Abstract

   This document identifies problems that may result from the absence of
   formal coordination and joint development on protocols of mutual
   interest between standards development organizations.  Some of these
   problems may cause significant harm to the Internet.  The document
   suggests that a robust procedure is required prevent this from
   occurring in the future.  The IAB has selected a number of case
   studies, such as T-MPLS, as recent examples to describe hazard to the
   Internet architecture as a result of uncoordinated adaptation of a
   protocol.

   This experience has resulted in a considerable improvement in the
   relationship between the IETF and the ITU-T.  In particular, this was
   achieved via the establishment of the "Joint working team on MPLS-TP"
   .  In addition, the leadership of the two organisations agreed to
   improve inter-organizational working practices so as to avoid
   conflict in the future between ITU-T Recommendations and IETF RFCs.

   Whilst we use ITU-T - IETF interactions in these case studies, the
   scope of the document extends to all SDO that have an overlapping
   protocol interest with the IETF.





























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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Protocol Design Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1.  Protocol Safety  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  Importance of Invariants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.3.  Importance of Correct Identification . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.4.  The Role of the Design Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.5.  Ships in the Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   3.  Examples of Miscoordination  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.1.  T-MPLS As a Case Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.2.  PPP over Sonet/SDH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   4.  Managing Information Flow  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     4.1.  Managing Information Flow within an SDO  . . . . . . . . .  9
     4.2.  Managing Information Flow between SDOs . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  MPLS-TP As Best Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  IETF Change Process  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   7.  IANA considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   8.  Security considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   10. Emerging Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   11. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   12. Informative references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Appendix A.  A Review of the T-MPLS Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     A.1.  Multiple Definitions of Label 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     A.2.  Redefinition of TTL Semantics  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     A.3.  Reservation of Additional Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     A.4.  Redefinition of MPLS EXP Bits  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     A.5.  The Consequences for the Network Operators . . . . . . . . 22
     A.6.  The Consequences for the SDOs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24




















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1.  Introduction

   The uncoordinated adaptation of a protocol, parameter, or code-point
   by a standards development organization (SDO), either through the
   allocation of a code-point without following the formal registration
   procedures, or by unilaterally modifying the semantics of the
   protocol or intended use of the code-point itself, poses a risk of
   harm to the Internet [RFC4775].

   The purpose of this document is to describe the various problems that
   may occur without formal coordination and joint development on
   protocols of mutual interest between SDOs.  Some of the problems that
   arise may cause significant harm to the Internet.  In particular, the
   IAB considers an essential principle of the protocol development
   process that only one SDO maintains design authority for a given
   protocol, with that SDO having ultimate authority over the allocation
   of protocol parameter code-points; defining the intended semantics,
   interpretation, and actions associated with those code-points.

   There is currently a joint IETF - ITU-T development effort underway,
   known as MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), which is progressing
   rapidly to extend MPLS in a way that is consistent with the MPLS
   architecture, and fully satisfies the requirements of the transport
   network provider [LS26].  By way of a case study we will refer to the
   design and standardization process of the ITU-T protocol known as
   Transport MPLS (T-MPLS).  Development of T-MPLS was abandoned
   [RFC5317] by ITU-T Study Group 15 due to inherent conflicts with the
   IETF MPLS design and in particular with the Internet architecture.
   These conflicts arose due to the lack of coordination with the IETF
   as the design authority for MPLS.

   The goal of this document is to demonstrate the importance of a
   coordinated approach to successful collaboration between SDOs, and to
   explain a model for inter-SDO collaborative protocol development that
   is being used successfully by the ITU-T and IETF.
















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2.  Protocol Design Rules

   This section describes a number of protocol design rules needed to
   ensure the safe operation of a network.  Whilst these rules will be
   familiar to many protocol designers the rules are restated here, to
   ensure that assumptions are clear and consistent.  Differing
   assumptions have been at the root of may mis-coordinations and
   miscommunication between SDOs in the past.

2.1.  Protocol Safety

   To understand the reasons why the IAB and the IETF regards
   uncoordinated use of code-points and/or protocol modification as
   posing a risk of harm to the Internet, it is necessary to recap some
   important principles of protocol design in large scale networks such
   as the Internet.  Many end users and businesses have come to rely on
   the Internet as part of their critical infrastructure, thus large
   scale networks such as the Internet, represent significant economic
   value.  Any outage in a large scale network due to a protocol failure
   will therefore result in significant commercial and political damage.
   When two incompatible protocols, or forms of the same protocol, are
   deployed without coordination, there is a serious risk that this may
   be catastrophic to the stability or security of the network.

   Furthermore, the scale and distributed nature of the Internet is such
   that it may be difficult or impossible to rid the network of the
   long- term consequences of the protocol incompatibility.  Therefore,
   the following issues are of critical importance.

2.2.  Importance of Invariants

   Invariants are core properties that are consistent across the network
   and do not change over extremely long time-scales.  Protocol
   designers use such invariants as axioms in designing protocols.  A
   protocol often places an absolute reliance on an invariant to resolve
   a design corner case.  One example of an invariance in IP that was
   inherited in the design of MPLS is the invariant that a time to live
   (TTL) value is monotonically decreased and that a packet with TTL<=1
   will not be forwarded.  This is a safety mechanism to mitigate the
   damaging effects of packet forwarding loops.  Another example is the
   way that MPLS applies special semantics to the reserved label set
   [RFC3032] (0..15), and the notion that a Label Switched Router (LSR)
   is free to allocate labels with a value of 16 or greater for its own
   use.







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2.3.  Importance of Correct Identification

   A special type of invariant is the allocation of a code-point.  A
   code-point may be used to identify a packet type or a component
   within a packet.  Without these identifiers, a packet is an opaque
   sequence of bits.  A packet parser operates by first identifying the
   code-point and then using the semantics associated with that code-
   point to interpret other components within the packet.  Once a code-
   point is defined the interpretation of associated data and the
   consequential actions becomes a protocol invariant.  Subsequent
   protocol development must adhere to those invariants.  The semantics
   for an allocated code point must never change.  If a future
   enhancement requires different semantics, interpretation, or action,
   then a new code point must be obtained.

2.4.  The Role of the Design Authority

   A code-point such as an IEEE Ethertype is allocated to a design
   authority such as the IETF.  It is this design authority that
   establishes how information identified by the code-point is to be
   interpreted to associate appropriate invariants.  Modification and
   extension of a protocol requires great care.  In particular it is
   necessary to understand the exact nature of the invariants and the
   consequences of modification.  This may not always be the case when
   protocols are modified by organizations without the experience of the
   original designers, or the design authority expert pool.
   Furthermore, since there can only safely be a single interpretation
   of the information identified by a code-point, there must be a unique
   authority responsible for authorizing and documenting the semantics
   of the information and consequential protocol actions.

   In the case of IP and MPLS technologies, the design authority is the
   IETF.  The IETF has an internal process for evolving and maintaining
   the protocols for which it is the design authority.  The IETF also
   has change processes in place [RFC4929] to work with other SDOs that
   require enhancements to its protocols and architectures.  Similarly,
   the ITU has design authority for Recommendation E.164 [E.164] and
   allocates the relevant code points, even though the IETF has design
   authority for the protocols ("ENUM") used to access E.164 numbers
   through the Internet DNS [RFC3245].

   It is a recommendation of this document that the IETF introduces
   additional change mechanisms to encompass all of the technical areas
   for which it has design authority.







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2.5.  Ships in the Night

   It may be tempting for a designer to assert that the protocol
   extensions it proposes are safe even though it breaks the invariants
   of the original protocol because these protocol variants will operate
   as ships in the night.  That is, these protocol variants will never
   simultaneously exist in the same network domain and will never need
   to inter-work.  This is a fundamentally unsound assumption for a
   number of reasons.  First, it is infeasible to ensure that the two
   instances will never be interconnected under any circumstances.
   Second, even if the operators that deploy the protocols apply
   appropriate due diligence to ensure that the two instances do not
   conflict, it is infeasible to ensure that such conflicting protocols
   will not be interconnected under fault conditions.

   This assumption of ships in the night is particularly hazardous when
   the instances of the protocol share the same identifying code-point.
   This is because a system is unable to determine which variant of the
   protocol it has received, and hence how to correctly interpret the
   associated information or to determine what protocol actions may be
   safely executed.






























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3.  Examples of Miscoordination

   There are a variety of examples where lack of inter-SDO coordination
   has led to the publication of flawed protocol designs.  This section
   describes a number of case studies that illustrate co-ordination
   issues.

3.1.  T-MPLS As a Case Study

   A recent example where another SDO created a protocol based on
   misunderstandings of the IETF protocols is T-MPLS.  T-MPLS was
   created in ITU-T in an attempt to design a packet transport method
   for transport-oriented networks.  This is an example of the success
   that IETF protocols have enjoyed, and ITU-T's interest and selection
   of MPLS is a compliment to the IETF work.  Quite late in the ITU-T
   design and specification cycle, there were a number of liaison
   exchanges between the ITU-T and the IETF, where the IETF became
   increasingly concerned about incompatibility of IETF MPLS procedures
   and technologies with ITU-T T-MPLS [RFC5317].  Extensive discussions
   took place regarding interpretation, definition, and
   misunderstandings regarding aspects such as MPLS Label 14, MPLS swap
   operation, TTL semantics, reservation of additional Labels, and EXP
   bits.  If ITU-T had worked with IETF from the start in developing
   T-MPLS, these problems could have been avoided.  A detailed analysis
   of the T-MPLS case is provided in Appendix A.

3.2.  PPP over Sonet/SDH

   An example of where the IETF failed to co-ordinate with the ITU-T is
   [RFC1619].  In this draft the IETF misdefined PPP over SONET,
   erroneously stating that "no scrambling is needed during insertion
   into the SONET/SDH Synchronous Payload Envelope (SPE)."  It was later
   determined by SONET experts operating in the ITU-T and in ANSI, that
   this error arose due to an incomplete understanding of the SONET
   scrambler.  By not using a scrambler the protocol was attempting to
   transport non-transparent data over SONET.  This resulted in lost or
   misinterpreted data in the PoS network.  This impacted routing,
   signaling and end-user data traffic.  Details of this work are
   described in [pppext-pppsonet-scrambler].  This problem would have
   been prevented if the IETF had worked with ITU-T and ANSI in
   initially developing [RFC1619] .  The problem was resolved by working
   jointly with ITU-T and ANSI experts to publish [RFC2615], which
   mandated the use of scrambling.

   Note that [RFC1619] was developed four years before the IETF and
   ITU-T agreed on formal procedures for cooperation, as documented in
   [RFC2436].




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4.  Managing Information Flow

   This section recommends that intra and inter SDO information flows
   require careful management in order to prevent the accidental
   extension of protocols without the complete coordination of the work
   with the relevant design authority.

4.1.  Managing Information Flow within an SDO

   One cannot assume that an SDO is completely familiar with the
   internal structure, information exchange or internal processes of
   another SDO.  Hence the initial contact point and the subgroup with
   which a long term working relationship is formed has a the duty to
   ensure that the work fully is notified and co-ordinated to all
   relevant parties withing the SDO.

4.2.  Managing Information Flow between SDOs

   A recommendation is that as part of their document approval process
   SDOs should confirm that all protocol parameters code points, TLV
   identifiers, etc. have been authorized by the appropriate design
   authority (e.g., IANA, IETF, etc. in this case) and SDO approval from
   the design authority has been obtained prior to publishing protocol
   extensions.  This confirmation should be an integral part of the
   approval or consent process as verifying that the normative
   references are qualified.

























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5.  MPLS-TP As Best Practice

   In order to bridge the gap between the two organizations, the IETF
   and the ITU-T established a joint working team (JWT) to assess
   whether it was possible to enhance existing MPLS standards to provide
   a best in class solution for transport networks.  The outcome of this
   investigation is reported in [RFC5317].

   The JWT proposed a design that was acceptable to both SDOs.  This has
   lead to the creation of the MPLS-TP project.  This is a joint project
   in which the ITU-T experts work with the IETF on protocol development
   tasks; and IETF members work within the ITU-T to understand
   requirements, and to assist in the creation of the ITU-T
   recommendations that describe MPLS-TP in which the technical
   definition is provided through normative references to IETF RFCs.

   Although the JWT approach allowed the IETF and the ITU-T to agree on
   a method of resolving the T-MPLS problem, this approach had a
   significant resource cost.  The JWT required considerable protocol
   design expertise and IETF management time to agree on a suitable
   technical solution.  A light weight process, starting with close
   coordination during the requirements phase, and continuing during the
   development phase, would likely reduce the resources needed to an
   acceptable level in the future.



























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6.  IETF Change Process

   There is an MPLS-change-process [RFC4929] .  However the IETF has yet
   not defined a change process that is applicable to all of its work
   areas.  The problems described in this document indicate that the
   IETF need to develop a universal change process.  The MPLS-change-
   process would seem to be a suitable starting point.












































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7.  IANA considerations

   There are no requests for IANA allocation of code-points in this
   document, nor are any other IANA actions required.















































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8.  Security considerations

   The uncoordinated development of protocols is poses a risk of harm to
   the Internet and must not be permitted.  The enhancement or
   modification of a protocol can increase attack surfaces considerably
   and may therefore compromise the security or stability of the
   Internet.  The IETF has a review process that combines cross area
   review with specialist security review by experts familiar with the
   development and deployment context of the Internet protocol suite.
   In particular, because of the Internet infrastructure's reliance on
   the IP and MPLS protocol suites, this security review process must be
   exercised with considerable diligence.  Failure to apply this review
   process exposes the Internet to increased risk along both security
   and stability vectors.





































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9.  Acknowledgments

   The authors wish to acknowledge Loa Andersson and the members of the
   2009/2010 Internet Architecture Board.















































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10.  Emerging Issues

   Although we have used T-MPLS as a case study, there are other ongoing
   ITU-T projects and core IETF specifications that could be the subject
   of either improved coordination or new conflicts, depending on
   whether or not the principles outlined in this document are adhered
   to by the IETF and ITU., Two current examples are: [Y.2015] , and
   [Q.Flowsig] .  New areas with potential for cooperation or conflict
   are emerging from the work of ITU-T SG13 Question 7, "IPv6" for
   example: [Y.ipv6split] and [Y.ipv6migration].

   Improved coordination, of course, is not limited to the relationship
   between IETF and ITU-T.  This issue is present between an set of
   SDOs.  The IETF - ITU-T relationship has simply been used because
   there is a recent example where a potential disaster was, through
   much hard work, not only prevented, but turned into a net gain for
   all.


































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11.  Conclusion

   It is important that all SDOs developing standards that effect the
   operation of the Internet learn the lessons that arise from cases
   cited in this document.  Uncoordinated parallel work between SDOs
   creates significant problems with potentially damaging operation
   impact to those that deploy and use the Internet.  Both inter and
   intra SDO information flow needs to be well managed to ensure that
   all impacted parties are aware of work items.  Finally, the IETF
   needs to develop a universal change process that encompasses all of
   its work areas.








































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12.  Informative references

   [E.164]    ITU-T, "ITU Recommendation E.164: The international public
              telecommunication numbering plan", February 2005.

   [I-D.ietf-mpls-tp-requirements]
              Niven-Jenkins, B., Brungard, D., Betts, M., Sprecher, N.,
              and S. Ueno, "MPLS-TP Requirements",
              draft-ietf-mpls-tp-requirements-10 (work in progress),
              August 2009.

   [LS26]     ITU-T Study Group 15, "Cooperation Between IETF and ITU-T
              on the Development of MPLS-TP, Geneva, 1-12 December 2008,
              https://datatracker.ietf.org/documents/LIAISON/
              file596.pdf".

   [Q.Flowsig]
              ITU-T Study Group 11, "ITU-T Study Group 11, Question 5,
              Signalling protocols and procedures relating to flow state
              aware access QoS control in an NGN; draft
              Recommendation.".

   [RFC1393]  Malkin, G., "Traceroute Using an IP Option", RFC 1393,
              January 1993.

   [RFC1619]  Simpson, W., "PPP over SONET/SDH", RFC 1619, May 1994.

   [RFC2436]  Brett, R., Bradner, S., and G. Parsons, "Collaboration
              between ISOC/IETF and ITU-T", RFC 2436, October 1998.

   [RFC2615]  Malis, A. and W. Simpson, "PPP over SONET/SDH", RFC 2615,
              June 1999.

   [RFC3031]  Rosen, E., Viswanathan, A., and R. Callon, "Multiprotocol
              Label Switching Architecture", RFC 3031, January 2001.

   [RFC3032]  Rosen, E., Tappan, D., Fedorkow, G., Rekhter, Y.,
              Farinacci, D., Li, T., and A. Conta, "MPLS Label Stack
              Encoding", RFC 3032, January 2001.

   [RFC3245]  Klensin, J. and IAB, "The History and Context of Telephone
              Number Mapping (ENUM) Operational Decisions: Informational
              Documents Contributed to ITU-T Study Group 2 (SG2)",
              RFC 3245, March 2002.

   [RFC3270]  Le Faucheur, F., Wu, L., Davie, B., Davari, S., Vaananen,
              P., Krishnan, R., Cheval, P., and J. Heinanen, "Multi-
              Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) Support of Differentiated



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              Services", RFC 3270, May 2002.

   [RFC3429]  Ohta, H., "Assignment of the 'OAM Alert Label' for
              Multiprotocol Label Switching Architecture (MPLS)
              Operation and Maintenance (OAM) Functions", RFC 3429,
              November 2002.

   [RFC4379]  Kompella, K. and G. Swallow, "Detecting Multi-Protocol
              Label Switched (MPLS) Data Plane Failures", RFC 4379,
              February 2006.

   [RFC4775]  Bradner, S., Carpenter, B., and T. Narten, "Procedures for
              Protocol Extensions and Variations", BCP 125, RFC 4775,
              December 2006.

   [RFC4929]  Andersson, L. and A. Farrel, "Change Process for
              Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Generalized MPLS
              (GMPLS) Protocols and Procedures", BCP 129, RFC 4929,
              June 2007.

   [RFC5129]  Davie, B., Briscoe, B., and J. Tay, "Explicit Congestion
              Marking in MPLS", RFC 5129, January 2008.

   [RFC5317]  Bryant, S. and L. Andersson, "Joint Working Team (JWT)
              Report on MPLS Architectural Considerations for a
              Transport Profile", RFC 5317, February 2009.

   [RFC5462]  Andersson, L. and R. Asati, "Multiprotocol Label Switching
              (MPLS) Label Stack Entry: "EXP" Field Renamed to "Traffic
              Class" Field", RFC 5462, February 2009.

   [Y.1711-2002]
              ITU-T Study Group 13, "ITU-T Recommendation Y.1711 "OAM
              mechanism for MPLS networks", November 2002".

   [Y.1711-2004]
              ITU-T Study Group 13, "ITU-T Recommendation Y.1711 "OAM
              mechanism for MPLS networks", February 2004".

   [Y.1711am1]
              ITU-T Study Group 13, "ITU-T Recommendation Y.1711
              Amendment 1, New Function Type Codes, October 2005.".

   [Y.1711cor1]
              ITU-T Study Group 13, "ITU-T Recommendation Y.1711 (2004)
              corrigendum 1, February 2005.".

   [Y.2015]   ITU-T Study Group 13, "ITU-T Study Group 13, Question 5,



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              "General Requirements for ID/Locator Separation in NGN"".

   [Y.ipv6migration]
              ITU-T, "ITU draft Y.ipv6migration : Roadmap for IPv6
              migration from NGN operators perspective", 2009.

   [Y.ipv6split]
              ITU-T, "ITU draft Y.ipv6split : Framework of ID/LOC
              separation in IPv6-based NGN", 2009.

   [pppext-pppsonet-scrambler]
              http://lptools1.amsl.com/html/
              draft-ietf-pppext-pppsonet-scrambler-00>, "PPP over SONET/
              SDH".





































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Appendix A.  A Review of the T-MPLS Case

   T-MPLS was created in ITU-T in an attempt to design an MPLS based
   packet transport method for transport-oriented networks.  This
   appendix describes the technical issues that the IETF identified with
   the T-MPLS documents and their consequences.

A.1.  Multiple Definitions of Label 14

   To appreciate why the use of MPLS Reserved Label 14 by the T-MPLS
   protocol represented a safety concern to the Internet, it is
   important to understand the current standards that use MPLS Reserved
   Label 14.

   The governing standard on the use of MPLS Reserved Label 14 is
   [RFC3429], "Assignment of the 'OAM Alert Label' for Multi-protocol
   Label Switching Architecture (MPLS) Operation and Maintenance (OAM)
   Functions".

   Label 14 is assigned to a specific protocol, namely, ITU-T
   Recommendation [Y.1711-2002].

   ITU-T Recommendation [Y.1711-2002] has been superseded by newer
   versions, specifically: - [Y.1711-2004], [Y.1711cor1] and
   [Y.1711am1].

   All three documents are currently in-force as ITU-T Recommendations.

   The problem is that the changes made to Y.1711 were never reflected
   in an update to RFC 3429 which only defines the protocol as specified
   by the now superseded 2002 Recommendation.  So for example, MPLS
   equipment responding to an MPLS packet containing Label 14 would
   expect to see the 2002 version of Y.1711 [Y.1711-2002] protocol and
   would not recognize any of the new function codes specified in Y.1711
   Amendment 1.  This problem arises because Y.1711 does not have a
   version field, and RFC 3429 offers no other method to disambiguate
   non-interoperable versions of Y.1711.  Having a version number in the
   protocol permits an implementer to codify non-interoperability.
   Furthermore, the IETF as the authority over Label 14 semantics has
   the final say over maintaining the interoperability of the protocol
   employing that code-point, unless the IETF explicitly delegates such
   authority.

   With regard to T-MPLS there was a lack of coordination between the
   ITU-T and the IETF over the redefinition of the semantics of MPLS
   label 14, which resulted in protocol definitions that conflicted with
   the IETF MPLS Architecture.




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   The MPLS architecture [RFC3031], defines a swap operation as an
   atomic function that replaces the top label in an MPLS label stack
   with another label which provides context for the next hop LSR.
   However the ITU-T Recommendations that specified the new OAM
   functions defined by Label 14 redefined the label swap operation as a
   POP, followed by a PUSH, thereby causing all LSRs to inspect the
   label stack for the presence of Label 14 at each hop.  This proposed
   new behaviour conflicts with the IETF definition of a swap operation.
   The behaviour proposed in these specifications would have had major
   consequences for deployed hardware designs.  The outcome would have
   been that the equipments built according to the two different
   specifications would have been incompatible.  It is important that
   the atomic procedure defined in [RFC3031] is kept unchanged.

A.2.  Redefinition of TTL Semantics

   The standard method of delivering an OAM message to an entity on a
   label switched path (LSP) such that the OAM message fate shares with
   the data traffic is to use TTL expiry.  The IETF's Internet Protocol
   (IP) utilizes this mechanism for traceroute [RFC1393], as does MPLS
   ping [RFC4379].

   At one stage, the T-MPLS designers considered a multi-level OAM
   design in which the OAM packet was steered to its target by a process
   in which some nodes increased the TTL as they forwarded the OAM
   packet to its next hop.  TTL is a safety device in the IETF IP and
   MPLS architecture that prevents a packet from continuously looping
   under fault conditions.  Thus the proposed extension to support an
   enhanced OAM mechanism violated an MPLS design invariant specifically
   introduced to ensure safe operation of the Internet by preventing
   persistent forwarding loops.

A.3.  Reservation of Additional Labels

   The IETF MPLS protocol uses a small number of reserved labels
   [RFC3032] as a mechanism to provide additional context and to trigger
   some special processing operations in the forwarder.  All other
   labels used for forwarding use semantics defined by the forwarding
   equivalence class (FEC).  In an early implementation of T-MPLS the
   designers determined that they needed some additional labels to alert
   the forwarder that the packet needed special processing.  Thus a
   conflict was thereby introduced between the behaviour of an IETF MPLS
   LSR, and LSRs that operate according to the specification in the
   ITU-T Recommendation.  Thus some LSRs would attribute special
   semantics to labels 16..31, whist other LSRs would perform normal
   forwarding on them.





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A.4.  Redefinition of MPLS EXP Bits

   The early MPLS documents defined the form of the MPLS label stack
   entry [RFC3032].  This includes a three-bit field called the "EXP
   field".  The exact use of this field was not defined by these
   documents, except to state that it was to be "reserved for
   experimental use".

   Although the intended use of the EXP field was as a "Class of
   Service" (CoS) field, it was not named a CoS field by these early
   documents because the use of such a CoS field was not considered to
   be sufficiently defined.  Today a number of standards documents
   define its usage as a CoS field [RFC3270], [RFC5129], and hardware is
   deployed that assumes this exclusive usage.

   The T-MPLS designers, unaware of the historic reason for the
   "provisional" naming of this field assumed that they were available
   for any experimental use and re-purposed them to indicate the
   maintenance entity level (a hierarchical maintenance mechanism).

   The intended use of the EXP field was subsequently carried in
   [RFC5462], which reinforces this by formally changing the name to
   Traffic Class (TC).

A.5.  The Consequences for the Network Operators

   Transport network operators need a way to realize the statistical
   gain inherent in packet networking while retaining the familiar
   operational structure of their SONET/SDH networks.  T-MPLS was an
   attempt to provide that functionality.  However, by creating an
   incompatible variant of MPLS without tight coordination with IETF
   created a number of problems for network operators.

   Firstly, those operators that deployed T-MPLS in production networks
   will need to address the risk and complexity of transitioning their
   network to MPLS-TP.  Secondly, there has been a consequential delay
   the necessary enhancements to MPLS to meet their needs
   [I-D.ietf-mpls-tp-requirements] as the IETF and ITU-T executed a
   redevelopment of MPLS-based transport network protocols.

   Fortunately, the two organizations are now working together to design
   the necessary enhancements

   The resulting technology, MPLS-TP, brings significant benefits to
   all.  However this has not been without cost.  Had things continued,
   we are not sure what would have happened, at the least, the larger
   MPLS community would have been denied the benefit of better OAM, and
   the transport community would have been denied the many benefits of



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   an interoperable solution.

A.6.  The Consequences for the SDOs

   The process of resolution required considerable resources and
   introduced a great deal of conflict between the IETF and the ITU-T,
   much of which was exposed to public scrutiny, to the detriment of
   both organizations.  In particular this conflict resolution process
   consumed the very resources required to develop an optimal
   architecture for MPLS in transport networks.









































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Authors' Addresses

   Stewart Bryant (editor)
   On behalf of the IAB


   Phone:
   Fax:
   Email: stbryant@cisco.com
   URI:


   Monique Morrow (editor)
   On behalf of the IAB


   Phone:
   Fax:
   Email: mmorrow@cisco.com
   URI:































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